License suspended of nurse at center of Meriter infant abuse allegations

The nurse removed from UnityPoint Health-Meriter Hospital following reports of abused infants in its neonatal intensive care unit has had his license suspended.

The information comes from a licensing report from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

An investigation that began in February following reports of injuries to children in the hospitals NICU revealed abuse going back 11 months, according to a federal agency's report.

The Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notified Meriter on Feb. 23, 2018 that based on a survey by the Wisconsin Department of Health, Division of Quality Assurance, the hospital was not in compliance and risked termination from the Medicare program.

Meriter has since submitted a corrective plan of action that now must be approved in order to prevent termination.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report, the facility failed to respond to allegations of abuse related to injuries of an unknown origin and protect five of six patients in the NICU going back to April 12, 2017.

The Madison police department's special victim's unit had begun its own investigation Feb. 9, 2018 following a report of several unexplained injuries.

On Feb. 13, upon learning of the incident from the Madison Police Department, DSPS began an inquiry to determine if the subject of the police investigation was a person that held a state license.

Also, on Feb. 16, the Office of Caregiver Quality received a report containing an allegation of caregiver misconduct by a credentialed health care provider that also was forwarded to DSPS.

The hospital also has added additional monitoring and security measures, including more staff on the unit.

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